Michael Lewis's 'Robin Hood' on eve of Sam Bankman-Fried trial

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Michael Lewis's 'Robin Hood' on eve of Sam Bankman-Fried trial

Nearly a year after the collapse of crypto exchange FTX - and on the eve of co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried's trial - author Michael Lewis has enraged those in finance and crypto alike.

Lewis painted a portrait of Sam Bankman-Fried, one of his most renowned writers. In an interview on CBS's 60 Minutes on Sunday, the author explained that Bankman-Fried out to be an unfortunate Robin Hood who stumbled into the multi-billion-dollar collapse of FTX last year.

t been a run on customer deposits, they'd still be sitting there making tons of money, Lewis said. Sam Bankman-Fried, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, sincerely thinks he's innocent, Lewis said.

Lewis has chronicled Wall Street characters in s Poker, his latest book.

The reaction from the interview shows that when it comes to FTX, crypto and traditional finance are really aligned, said Sean Tuffy, a regulation expert and former Citigroup executive.

t a fraud and was just undone by market rumours, Tuffy said, referring to Lewis comments that FTX was a good business, ultimately undoned by a run on deposits.

Short seller Jim Chanos likened the comments to those of Enron, the energy company he sounded the alarm of fraud on more than twenty years ago.

'T for those meddling short-sellers and journalists causing a run-on-the-bank, we would've been fine,' Chanos wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter, making light of the argument.

Insolvency means a company's overall debt surpasses its total assets, while illiquidity refers to a company that does not have enough liquid assets to cover its current debts.

Crypto natives, however, agree. His comments were branded as 'insane' by Mike Dudas, the founder of The Block, while Messari's Ryan Selkis said he was infuriated by the interview.

There's going to be a'story war' going on between the prosecution and the defence, Lewis said.

Lewis said in a statement: 'It is important to be clear about what we are doing,' he said.

Lewis met Sam Bankman-Fried two years ago at the behest of a friend who wanted to invest with him, he took him on a hike in Berkeley Hills California - his jaw was on the floor the entire time.

The newly minted billionaire, Lewis, had no interest in splurging his money on yachts, he wants to'spend it to save humanity from extinction,' Lewis said.

When the conversation put him on Red Alert, he didn't know what it was, but he knew something was going to happen to Sam Bankman-Friend. He did just that, followed him around for the next two years, which culminated in the multi-billion dollar collapse of FTX and its trading arm Alameda Research last November.

Lewis's book will be published on October 3, the same day Sam Bankman-Fried's trial will begin.

The one-time Wall Street trader and crypto founder has been charged with securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.

Adam Morgan McCarthy, DL News' London-based Markets Correspondent, is the editor-in-chief of the magazine.